Tuesday, September 8, 2009

- It's Just A Tent

"Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands." 2 Corinthians 5:1

I've been thinking a lot about bodies lately. Er, well, you know what I mean. Ha! Thinking mostly about my own body and what's about to happen to it...what it's going to look like and how I'm going to feel after getting radical surgery....

But then I think, "Hey - it's just a tent."

We have these bodies to house our spirits - to carry the real "us" - from the first moment we gasp that breath of life, until the last day when we exhale and this earthly housing goes back to the dust.

Someone has said that so much of what happens in our lives is represented in the hyphen....

You know: when we die, it says, "Jim Smith, 1950 - 2009".

This tells when the person was born and when he died, but the hyphen in between those two dates....well, that's the part that the obituary outlines.

Sometimes those details are brief. Perhaps the person lived a short time, died young, and didn't get the chance to do a whole lot of living.

What's sadder, though, is when the person had many, many years on earth, but what is represented by the hyphen - in between the year of his birth and the year of his death - is a whole lot of unfulfilled dreams; a plethora of wasted years; a gradual decline to the grave.

God gives us the privilege of life and of years on this earth -
To do His work...
To live for Him, and to serve others...
To be an enriching force and to effect change wherever we go....
To be light; to be salt.

"You are here to enrich the world, 
And you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand." 
- Engraved over entrance to Cabell Hall, University of Virginia.

"See how the masses of men lower themselves into nameless graves, while here and there a selfless soul forgets himself into immortality." 
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Everyone can be great because everyone can serve." 
- Martin Luther King Jr.

We are in these earthly tents for a certain number of years.
Some of us will exit this world with our tents in pretty good shape.
Some of us will leave this earth with scratched, scraped tents.
Some of us will exit with battered, broken tents.

Our tents, unfortunately, do not come with lifetime guarantees.

But all of us have the chance to leave a legacy, regardless of the condition of our tents.

We can invest into the lives of others;
We can sow today and reap a rich harvest tomorrow
We can look towards the eternal and not be fooled by the lure and the attraction of the temporary.

These are all choices we can make.
At least in the area of choices, we all have the same opportunities.
My tent may not be as strong as your tent...
...but at least I can choose to invest my time and my abilities wisely, with what strength God gives me and with whatever amount of time I have on this earthly sphere.

No comments:

Post a Comment